ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes


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Scattered Scripture

Reaching, Claiming, Lunging for the Universe of Things




Great Things Are Happening in Brooklyn

8th Season Opening


For updated information go to or

Sista's Place 

Great Things Happenin'

September 2007

Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera


Askia Muhammad Touré in New York and at Sistas' Place: From Monday, September 18th thru Sunday, September 23, 2007 Askia Muhammad Touré will be in New York and Newark, celebrating the recent publication of two collections of poetry: Mother Earth Responds: Green Poems and Alternative Visions (Whirlwind Press), and African Affirmations: Songs for Patriots (Africa World Press). 

During his visit to New York, he'll be booksigning at several hotspots -- The Bowery Poetry Club in lower Manhattan, St. Nick's Pub in Harlem, at the Upsouth Bookfair at City College, Sister Ndigo's, among others.

On Friday, September 21, at 7pm, Sistas' Place (456 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn) will host a special booksigning and discussion session between Askia Muhammad Touré and fellow poet Louis Reyes Rivera. This event is free and open to the public and is part of the opening of the 12th year since Sistas' Place opened its doors as a cultural haven. Copies of both books will be available for sale.

Right alongside Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Sonia Sanchez, Audre Lorde, June Jordan, etc., Askia Muhammad Touré is considered one of the principal architects of the 1960s Black Arts/Black Aesthetic movements. A member of the legendary Umbra Group and of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Touré has remained an activist poet of conscience throughout his years. His other books include Earth (1968), JuJu: Magic songs for the Black Nation (with playwright Ben Caldwell / 1970), Songhai! (1972), and From the Pyramids to the Projects (1990), which won an American Book Award. Widely published in Black Scholar, Soulbook, Black Theatre, Black World, and Freedomways, his poems and essays have embodied the ideology of a people seeking to reclaim their images and history.

As prelude to the discussion at Sistas' Place, Rivera will feature Brother Touré on his radio program, Perspective, Thursday, September 20, at 2pm (WBAI, 99.5 FM, and streamed on the website for up to fourteen days of the initial airing).  

Contacting Louis Reyes Rivera

If you're interested in booking Louis Reyes Rivera for readings, lectures, performances with bands, etc., email or write to Shamal Books, GPO Box 16, New York City 10116 (or call 718.622.4426). Copies of Louis Reyes Rivera's award-winning collection, Scattered Scripture, are still available. For other information, blogs, et al, go to " Louisreyesrivera  " and log in.

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Scholarship Opportunities

* Bell Labs Fellowships for Under-Represented Minorities:

* Student Inventors Scholarships:  

* Student Video Scholarships:

* Coca-Cola Two Year College Scholarships: 

* Holocaust Remembrance Scholarships:

Ayn Rand Essay Scholarships:

* Brand Essay Competition:

* Gates Millennlum Scholarships (major):

* Xerox Scholarships for Students:

* Sports Scholarships and Internships:

* National Assoc. of Black Journalists Scholarships (NABJ):

* Saul T. Wilson Scholarships (Veterinary):

* Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund:

* Financial Aid: the Smart Students Guide to Financial Aid scholarships:

* Presidential Freedom Scholarships:

* Microsoft Scholarship Program:

* Wired Scholar Free Scholarship Search:

* Hope Scholarships & Lifetime Credits:

* William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship for Minority Students:

* Multiple List of Minority Scholarships:

* Guaranteed Scholarships:

* BOEING Scholarships (some HBCU connects):

* Easley National Scholarship Program:

* Maryland Artists Scholarships:

* Historically Black College & University Scholarships:

* Actuarial Scholarships for Minority Students:

* International Students Scholarships & Aid Help:

* College Board Scholarship Search:

* Burger King Scholarship Program:

* Siemens Westinghouse Competition: siemens-foundationorg/

* GE and LuLac Scholarship Funds:

CollegeNet's Scholarship Database:

* Union Sponsored Scholarships and Aid: aflcioorg/scholarships/scholar.htm

* Scholarship & Financial Aid Help: /

*Scholarship Links (Ed Finance Group):

* FAFSA On The Web (Your Key Aid Form & Info):

* Aid &Resources For Re-Entry Students:

* Scholarships and Fellowships:

* Scholarships for Study in Paralegal Studies:

* HBCU Packard Sit Abroad Scholarships (for study around the world)

* Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities:

* INROADS Internships:

* NAACP/ ACT-SO Scholarships:

* Black Alliance for Educational Options Scholarships:

* ScienceNet Scholarship Listing:

* Graduate Fellowships For Minorities Nationwide:


* The Roothbert Scholarship Fund:

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They Stole Us. They Sold Us. They Owe Us! -- Reparations Concert 

Louis Reyes Rivera and The Jazzoets setting poetry to music in honor of the Reparations Movement and to help raise funds for the upcoming Black Belt South Long March scheduled for this coming July.

"Both nationally and internationally," says Viola Plummer, "we continue to mobilize on behalf of Reparations."

A broad coalition of groups throughout the U.S., explained Ms. Plummer, had been instrumental in helping to bring this issue before the UN World Conference Against Racism, in Durban, South Africa, three years ago. Among the results of that conference was the universal passage of a resolution that declared slavery, colonialism and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade as crimes against humanity, "and therefore," she adds, "are subject to Reparations. But please understand. This is not about somebody getting a check in the mail. Reparations means to say, first and foremost, that a wrong had been committed, that it must be acknowledged, and that the devastation caused by that wrong must be addressed."

Since the Durban conference, similar movements have been initiated by activists in Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, South Africa, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Australia and elsewhere. Here, in the United States, a follow-up National Rally for Reparations was held in Washington DC in August 2002, and in an International Rally in front of the United Nations in September 2003. 

The upcoming 2004 Long March through the Black Belt South, which will be kicking off on Saturday, July 24, with a national rally in Columbia, South Carolina, is the latest effort by a broad coalition of more than thirty activist, civic and religious organizations to explain the issues involved and to generate support for what has become an ever-growing grassroots movement.  

"We all need to dialogue around the importance of this march, and to update our brothers and sisters on the Reparations Movement. But equally important is this opportunity to once again demonstrate why we, at Sistas' Place, believe that culture is a weapon. Louis Reyes Rivera and The Jazzoets are a fine example of how culture and the social struggle come together, and they do it in a most beautiful way. If you've never heard Louis' poem on reparations, you need to. If you've never seen his band perform, you really ought to."

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Sistas' Place: A History

Contact: (718) 398-1766

On September 23, 1995, Sistas' Place opened its doors in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant and made its debut on John Coltrane's birthdate as a communal meeting ground and international coffee house in Central Brooklyn. Soon enough, Sistas' Place developed a unique reputation for homebaked pastries and imported coffees from throughout the African Diaspora. Something Bedford-Stuyvesant hardly had before -- fragrant hand-mixed blends of coffee from Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Jamaica, Brazil.

Within two months, Sistas' Place began to feature Saturday Night Jazz concerts on a semi-monthly basis. By February 1996, its series of Jazzoetry & Open Mic Poetry Jams was in place. And for the past seven years every 1st & 3rd Sundays of the month featured a houseband of reputable poets and musicians (including Bed-Stuy laureate, Louis Reyes Rivera, story teller Atiba Kwabena, slam poet Ngoma, and bandleader-composer Ahmed Abdullah, among others). They became known as The Jazzoets. 

When Sistas' added onto its menu a Sunday early dinner-late lunch homecooked meal, known as Dunch, and Saturday Night Jazz became a major weekly mainstay, offering the best in contemporary Jazz, Sistas' Place began to fully enjoy a respectable reputation even beyond the borders of Central Brooklyn. People from as near as Maine and Georgia, and as far away as Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Portugal would come into Kennedy Airport with an itinerary that included a "must stop" at Sistas'.

To commemorate their seventh consecutive year as Bedford-Stuyvesant's venue for both Poetry and Jazz, the folks at Sistas' Place are offering a month-long series of Saturday Night Jazz and Sunday Poetry Jams featuring some of the more respected musicians and poets in New York.

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Bill Moyers and James Cone (Interview)  / A Conversation with James Cone

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John Coltrane, "Alabama"  /  Kalamu ya Salaam, "Alabama"  / A Love Supreme

A Blues for the Birmingham Four  /  Eulogy for the Young Victims   / Six Dead After Church Bombing 

Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

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#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
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#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
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#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
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#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

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#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 2 February 2012




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